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Somalia: Small Christian community live their faith in secret

Categories: Articles:Social Justice | Published: 01/03/2018 | Views: 670

A report published in ICN on March 1st 2018 tells of a small community of Somali Christians living in Mogadishu. There, about 30 elderly people live hidden for fear of the reprisals of Islamic fundamentalists.

These Somali Christians consider their faith as the most precious gift. Fr Stefano Tollu, military Chaplain of the Italian contingent of EUTM Somalia, the formation and training mission financed by the European Union, managed to contact one of them recently.

Father Tollu, a Salesian missionary now incardinated in the diocese of Faenza and serving in the Military Ordinariat for Italy told Fides: 

"I had the opportunity to meet Moses (not the person's real name) "He is a Christian who grew up in the reality of the Italian Protectorate and then in independent Somalia, and is still very tied to our country. Many consider him the spokesman of the Somali Catholics. He defines his community as endangered."

In Somalia, a version of Sufi Islam has coexisted for centuries with other faiths. But for the past 20 years, an intolerant version of the Koranic faith has taken hold. Al Qaeda and its local branch al Shabaab are a continuing threat both for non-fundamentalist Muslims and Christians. In recent months IS/Daesh has also appeared in the country, Fr Tollu said.

Besides external dangers some elderly Christians face dangers in their own families. Fr Tollu sais: "Moses told me that 'those born in the' 90s, have become intolerant and do not understand their elders who profess Christianity. Therefore the elders flee away from their children and grandchildren."  Read on 

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